Both lads ended the season on a high with Tarran taking another hard fought third place in Saturday’s opening Superbike race and Taylor taking victory in the final Superstock 1000 race.
Practice also went very well with both boys feeling confident after qualifying third and on the front row of the grid.
Unfortunately Tarran fell heavily in Sunday’s wet warm up session doing substantial damage to his bike which put him out of action for Sunday’s races.
“I went to Brands Hatch believing I could win so coming home third in Saturday’s race got the weekend off to a great start. I was much stronger than I had been mid season at Brands so was ready to attack on the next day. I made a small mistake in Sunday’s warm up but it cost me big time as it put me out of Sunday’s two races. I was a bit battered and my bike was wrecked so unfortunately we had to sit things out.
2018 has still been amazing for me as I’ve exceeded all my expectations in my rookie Superbike season leading races and finishing on the podium four times. The Yamaha R1 and the McAMS Team are the perfect combination for me so hopefully we can come back next year even stronger and ready to challenge for the British Superbike Championship”.
“I’m absolutely chuffed to bits as I didn’t want to end the year without winning. The bike was mega so full credit to the team as we struggled in the wet at the last round but this time it was faultless throughout. I dropped back a bit in the middle of the race but I stayed calm figuring out where the grip was before moving forward again. I can’t thank the brilliant Bathams BMW Team enough for giving me the opportunity in the middle of the year and I am so happy to repay them with a win. It’s a pity that’s the last race as I know there is even more to come from me and the bike. I’ll have to wait but I’m already excited about my 2019 plans so there will be an announcement coming soon”.
As always we’ve enjoyed an incredible amount of kindness and support from friends and sponsors throughout the 2018 season. All of this has enabled Tarran to make a successful step up to the Superbike class and Taylor to get his career back on track after a difficult 2017 season. For this we incredibly grateful so thanks to one and all, we hope you’ve enjoyed the journey!
I’ll be in touch as soon as our 2019 plans are confirmed. (Niall Mackenzie)
Once again I’m very pleased to report we had lots of positives with the boys over last weekend at Oulton Park.
Although mild, it rained at some point every day making practice and racing very tricky when it came to choosing tyres and the appropriate bike set ups.
That said the lads gained valuable data as, until this point both their respective teams had limited wet set up information for Tarran and Taylor. Taylor was actually last in both wet practice sessions on Friday so was relieved to qualify on the second row for Saturday’s race. After an average start he battled through the field finishing fourth at chequered flag. On Sunday he went one place better bringing his Bathams BMW home on the rostrum in third position.
Tarran once again made it all the way through to the final Superbike qualifying session giving himself a solid eight position for race one on Sunday. He finished seventh in this wet race learning more new riding skills along the way. His lap time put him fourth for Sunday’s race and that is also where he finished at the flag just ahead of team mate Josh Brookes.
I was was well chuffed with my Superstock 1000 podium at Oulton after a tricky weekend of mixed weather. The circuit was quite slippy but my Bathams BMW Team worked tirelessly to give me the best bike for the conditions. I jumped up to 10th in the championship so my goal for the final round is another podium and and a few more championship positions.
Returning to Oulton Park has been very successful as I struggled in every area there earlier in the year. Finishing 7th in the wet race then 4th in the dry at this tough circuit was brilliant in my Rookie year on the superbike. We’ve learned loads at MCAMS Yamaha regarding dealing with all kinds of conditions which bodes well for the future. It’s Assen in Holland next and a track I adore.
Quick update from tar Mackenzie camp:
I’m very happy to report boys had an excellent weekend at Thruxton posting their best results of the season so far.
Taylor had a trouble free practice bringing his Bathams BMW home in pole position before fighting hard in a five way battle throughout his 16 lap Superstock 1000cc Championship race where he eventually finished in 2nd position less than a second from the winner.
‘I’m still smiling from the weekend as I’m back to riding at my best and ready to take the next step back to winning races. My crew chief Alec at the Bathams BMW team has got my bike working perfectly in the chassis department so I was able to manage my tyre wear then push hard on the closing laps of the race. After a mistake on my part last time out I took no chances this time so I’m satisfied with my second place finish. I’m back enjoying racing with a fantastic team and so very grateful for everyone supporting me during the recent realignment of my career’
Meanwhile Tarran was consistently in the top six throughout free practice but unfortunately broke down on his out lap of the qualifying session which meant he had to start race one from dead last on the grid.
A new engine was was fitted overnight and while it was a blow to the team, everyone agreed it was much better to have a problem in qualifying than either of the races.
From that moment on his McAMS Yamaha ran faultlessly, seeing him come from last to 9th in race one then finishing a strong 5th in race two just 2.2 seconds from the leader.
‘My good form continued at Thruxton where I once again learned loads at the fastest track on the calendar.
My bike seemed physically tough to ride on Friday but my crew figured out a good setting to make my bike more stable under hard acceleration and heavy braking. Race one was a challenge coming through the pack and by the time I broke into the top ten my rear tyre was spinning badly so I had to keep things safe. Starting from 7th on the grid from race 2 meant I was immediately in the leading bunch and in a good rhythm. Like Brands Hatch I was with Leon Haslam for most of the race so I was able to learn lots as he is one of the world’s best superbike riders. Being just half a second from the podium at the chequered flag gave me a great confidence boost for the next races.’
I guess unless we win everything over an event it can only be described once again as ‘mixed fortunes’, however, as always we had lots of positives to take from Brands Hatch at the weekend.
Taylor immediately fitted in with the Bathams BMW Team and straight away felt comfortable on his new bike.
He led race one on Saturday but after running wide after making a pass on the last lap ran off the track before crashing in the gravel trap. He was also unlucky on Sunday as he also crashed out of a podium position when his front brake became soft causing him to fall at the very fast Hawthorn Bend.
I felt so good all weekend on the Batham’s BMW so was devastated when I ran wide in race one on the last lap with a podium position in the bag. Sunday’s race non – finish was also a great shame as after being fastest in the morning warm up I knew I had the pace to win. The last thing I wanted on my first weekend with a new team was to crash so I’m really sorry to cause so much damage on my debut. I fully intend to repay the Bathams Team at Thruxton in two weeks time.
Tarran had excellent pace through all of Friday and Saturday eventually qualifying in fourth position just 0.1 seconds from pole position. He also had a disaster in race one crashing out at Hawthorns while in third place on the penultimate lap. He redeemed himself in race two coming through from 11th position on lap one to fifth at the chequered flag posting his best result of the season so far. Tarran was also named ‘R&G Rookie of the Meeting’ by James Whitam.
Last time out at Knockhill I learned so much about bike set up I was confident I could be strong at Brands Hatch. I wasn’t out of the top four all weekend so while I was upset crashing out of race one, finishing fifth in race two was still a solid ride. I was physically drained on Sunday night but felt strong in both the long hot races. Every track is a new challenge on the ridiculously fast Superbike so I’m ready to challenge again at Thruxton.
So it’s on to the ultra fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire for round seven!
We didn’t quite shake off the bad weather at Brands Hatch last weekend but at least it was a few degrees warmer and drier than round one of BSB at Donington Park.
Overall the boys had a good weekend with Tarran scoring his first ever British Superbike points with 11th and 9th places respectively on his McAMS Yamaha. Taylor finished just outside the points in race one but went home reasonably happy after landing a championship point in race two on his Moto Rapido Ducati.
I’m pleased with my weekend as I’ve achieved my first goal of the season scoring championship points. The wrist I fractured at Donington wasn’t perfect but my physio did a great job and my team worked hard as always to give me a well set up bike. Being 9th fastest in qualifying gave me confidence and as I’ve still only had nine days riding a Superbike and know there is plenty more to come. A fogging visor in race two wasn’t ideal but overall I was happy with my pace and ninth position at the chequered flag.
I’m finding the Ducati feels quite different to what I’m used to as we visit different tracks, however, I’m getting to grips with things and figuring out how to to get the best from my bike. I was pretty frustrated with my race day as I didn’t get the results the team and me deserve considering the progress we’ve made. We’re very positive though and ready to move up the field at the coming rounds. Oulton Park is next and a track I’ve always liked and where I’ve enjoyed plenty success in the past.
Both lads will test next week at Oulton Park ahead of round three in May.